Hasegawa 1/72 F4F-3 'Yellow Wings'

Kit Number: AP 26

Price: $15.98

Media: Injected Plastic

Decals : Two versions:  both USN, 1941

Date of Review: 29 March, 1996

Comments: When Hasegawa sets out to do a kit, it generally gets it right the first time.  This is certainly true of a more recent release, the F4F Wildcat.  As is now the vogue, this kit is released in a number of different versions, differing only in minor detail parts.  It appears that the base kit is the F4F-4 version with six wing guns and folding wings.  To make the F4F-3 version, one must fill in all traces of the wing fold line and the access panels for the outer wing gun.  The outer gun holes must also be filled in.  For the modeller used to using putty, this is not a major undertaking, just a small annoyance, especially for what I would consider a premium price for a 1/72 kit.  

Having said that, I found the kit to be a very well engineered kit.  I had no troubles at all with fit as one could expect.  A nice touch is the dual intakes inside the engine cowl that have been missing from other 1/72 Wildcats, however they are a touch thick and need to be radically thinned down.  A gripe I have with these 1/72 kits is that the canopy is molded in the closed position, so there is little ability to see into the interior.  This was replaced by a Squadron vacuformed canopy, especially since I had decided to use True Details resin interior on this kit.  As with the other True Details resin parts, the detail is superb and the molding flawless.  The resin interior is so designed that one can actually see out the lower fuselage windows that Wildcats had.  This is a first for me as I have built a number of Wildcats without this feature.  A bonus to me was the inclusion of wheelwell detail.  Wildcat kits (including this one) are generally devoid of any detailing at all in the wheelwell area.  True details not only includes a detailed cockpit bulkhead, but also has a fully molded engine firewall accessory section.  A true bargain from True Details.  I also added True Details resin wheels for that final touch.

A welcome addition to this Hasegawa kit is the inclusion of a superb set of Scalemaster decals in their own small poly bag.  Kudos to Hasegawa for this and I do hope it continues as Hasegawa decals are not the cutting edge.  I chose the scheme from the boxtop; that being for an aircraft from VF-41, complete with 'chrome' yellow wings, silver fuselage and 'willow' green empennage.  White fuselage, nose, and wing bands along with the colorful pre WWII roundels make for a very impressive little kit.  I really cannot recommend this kit and the True Details resin details highly enough.  Do yourself a big favor and get them both!!

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